By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Since 1945, a classic Cape Cod-style house has occupied the corner of 53rd Street and Landis Avenue in Sea Isle City.
The name of the well-known family that has owned the white house for decades is written in black letters on the garage.
“The Guarini’s,” it says.
The late Marie D. Guarini had lived in the home, but now her estate is seeking approval from the city’s Zoning Board to demolish the house at 5301 Landis Ave. and build a new two-story duplex.
A hearing on the project is scheduled for the Zoning Board’s 7 p.m. meeting Monday, Dec. 5, at City Hall.
With just under 1,300 square feet of living space, the old Guarini family home is a throwback to the types of modest houses that were common in Sea Isle decades ago. The large duplex that would be built in its place reflects the more grandiose homes that dominate the city’s increasingly upscale housing market.
Although the existing single-family home is relatively small, the 5,500-square-foot corner lot is larger than the typical housing sites found in a shore town where property is at a premium.
Members of the Guarini family have lived in Sea Isle since the 1940s. While they were still alive, Marie Guarini, her brother, Hank Guarini, and their sister, Rita Trulli, were named as grand marshals of Sea Isle’s 2016 Columbus Day Parade in recognition of the family’s longtime ties to the city.
“I was shocked when they asked us to be grand marshals. I’ve lived here for 75 years and I’m 92. To be called to do this was a pleasure,” Marie Guarini said in an interview with SeaIsleNews.com at the 2016 parade.
As the parade rolled down Landis Avenue in grand style in 2016, amid the thumping beat of a marching band and the blare of sirens from three fire engines, it passed the Guarini home that is now slated for demolition.